Cllr Mike Donegan with Sean Coughlan of Limerick City and County Council - PICTURE: Brendan Gleeson
THE FIRST restart grant to help businesses in Limerick to reopen has concluded.
Limerick City and County Council received a total of €8.75m from Enterprise Ireland. Sean Coughlan, deputy chief executive (Finance, Corporate, HR, ICT & Business Improvement), said that the council received a total of 1,859 applications.
The average grant payment to date has been €4,152. A total of 1,640 grants have been processed with the payment totaling €6.8m. This works out at 78% of the total of €8.75m.
It is understood that the remaining money – some €2m – will be rolled into the Restart Grant plus scheme.
Speaking at a Cappamore-Kilmallock municipal meeting, Mr Coughlan said there are a number of SME supports across the local authority including the restart grant. Although he noted that some businesses weren’t applying for the grant.
Cllr Mike Donegan said it was disappointing that businesses were not taking advantage of the restart grant. Cllr Martin Ryan said everything must be done to help small businesses open their doors.
“I’ve seen the stress and pressure they are under. We represent a rural area. We don’t have ‘big businesses’. We have small hard-working family type businesses,” said Cllr Martin Ryan.
Interestingly, Mr Coughlan said that it was the Revenue collectors who were ringing up the businesses about the restart grant.
“They are delighted. It is their first time giving away money. They have been getting such positive feedback,” said Mr Coughlan.
Meanwhile, the restart grant plus is up and running. Minister Patrick O’Donovan said it will help businesses in Limerick reopen and will help local people get back to work.
“The grant amount has increased substantially. The minimum grant available is now €4,000 up from €2,000 previously. The maximum grant available is €25,000, a significant increase from €10,000 previously.
“More Limerick businesses could now find themselves eligible for this grant than before, and key businesses that received a grant under the first scheme can re-apply to receive additional funding. Non-rateable B&Bs, sports clubs with commercial activities and trading charity shops are now eligible.
Previously only small companies could apply for this grant but now medium sized companies are also eligible. I encourage all Limerick companies with up to 250 employees to apply through Limerick Council,” said Minister O’Donovan.
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